LEANNE WATT, Ph.D., clinical psychologist
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Complicated people who have “given up” on finding effective psychotherapy find emotional relief in my office. I am a clinical psychologist in Pasadena and have been in private practice for more than 20 years, providing psychotherapy to individuals, couples & families presenting with a broad range of difficulties. As a Pasadena therapist, I specialize in treating patients who have been successful in many areas of life, but they’re still feeling incomplete, often struggling with deeply entrenched interpersonal and behavioral patterns. You may recognize yourself in one of these profiles:

  • You’re depressed, bothered by self-critical & self-shaming thoughts that eat away at your self-esteem.
  • You’re anxious all the time or especially in social situations, unable to relax and feel safe in this world.
  • You’re a couple that gets entangled easily-- you bicker often, you’re feeling injured, misunderstood, enraged, or totally shut down.
  • You’re a super-achiever— skilled at many things, yet feeling unfulfilled, alone, and sometimes, overwhelmed.
  • You’re compulsively using the internet or other screen devices; you’re avoiding life and unable to stop yourself.
  • You’re having a hard time finding your voice, afraid to speak your mind for fear of upsetting others.
  • You’re a parent, ashamed of the way you respond to your children, or you’re unable to set firm and kind limits.
  • You’re having work issues, feeling unmotivated & inefficient or you work too much & have difficulty saying “no” to the job.
  • You’re stuck creatively, unable to find your inspiration or afraid to trust your own instincts.
  • You’re sober & working the steps, but still struggling with feelings of restlessness, self-hate, shame & remorse.
  • Your fertility or your physical health is on your mind--- you’re feeling stressed and your body is letting you down.
  • You are searching for spiritual meaning in life, or you’re trying to leave a religion that feels damaging.
  • Or maybe you’re just feeling empty and are looking for something or someone to fill you up.

In treatment, the childhood roots of self-destructive thoughts & behaviors are explored, & patients learn to replace criticism & shame with kindness. Clients develop the ability to sit still with their emotions, rather than avoiding uncomfortable feelings through compulsive, "busy", or destructive behaviors. Through this process, depression & anxiety are reduced, while patients experience an increase in self-confidence, assertiveness, creativity, & tolerance for intimacy. The most frustrated couples learn to identify feelings & needs & communicate them without using attacking words; when “buttons” are pushed, they learn how to disentangle from each other and reconnect. And as your emotional connection to yourself & others improves, a sense of contentedness replaces your feelings of emptiness.

The latest medical research in the neuroscience and mind-body literature are incorporated into my clinical formulations, to ensure a proper understanding of my patients’ struggles. In addition to my doctorate, I also have a master’s degree in theology with a sensitivity to the spiritual issues that some patients bring into therapy. Please continue reading to learn more about my Pasadena CA psychologist services.